Teaching teens Restorative Yoga

restorative yoga

This is a comfortable seat one of my young students set up for our seated meditation.

Two Sundays ago as I was rolling and carrying all of my props into my Restorative Yoga class (I teach Restorative at the fitness center in my community complex and bring my own props) a woman came up to chat with me.
She said her daughter and her Girl Scout friends were learning about breathing and she was wondering if it would be OK for them to come to class the following week.
Of course!
On Sunday I had three girls come to class, one was 14 and the other two were 13.
I told them about conscious breath. We worked on inhaling on a two count and exhaling on a three count. I told them that a longer exhale can help us support the parasympathetic nervous system (rest and digest). (The sympathetic nervous system is the fight, flight or freeze.)
We started our practice in a seated mediation to work on the two count inhale and the three count exhale.
I asked all of my students to start in a comfortable seat where we would stay for a few minutes. They had blocks, bolsters and blankets and could use whatever they wanted to be comfortable.
I was impressed with the little “altar” one of the girls built to sit on. She had a little yoga experience, but no Restorative Yoga experience. She sat on a bolster and set up two blankets in what looked pretty comfortable. (See picture above.)
We practiced a variety of Restorative Yoga poses. I got a good response from the girls. I could tell they were relaxed and enjoying the class as were my other regular students.
I would check in with them after each pose and see how they were feeling. They were willing to share how they felt, relaxed, yawning, ready to sleep …
All three girls were great students and I really enjoyed having them in my class. But one of the girls was super special and so sweet. I felt an extra special connection with her.
I am glad I was able to share yoga with these young women but especially Restorative. I hope they learned something from their experience with me.
I definitely learned a lot.
It was the first time I ever worked with teaching yoga to children. I throughly enjoyed the experience and it will help me with a volunteer gig I have coming up this weekend, which I will write about sometime next week.